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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 109645
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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Hi, Im an F1 student. My mother is a US citizen. She filed

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I'm an F1 student. My mother is a US citizen. She filed for me when I was over 21 and my immigrant visa petition was approved. However, I will have to wait for at least 4 more years before I actually get the visa. At the same time I will be laid off in 3 months and I have student very expensive private student loans which she cosigned and which I must pay. I am the only one in my family who is qualified enough to get a job that would pay enough to pay the loans. Due to my citizenship, it is hard for me to get a job in another country that would pay enough to allow me to continue to pay my loans. Is there any legal way for me to stay in the US and work?

Hello. Thank you for using our service. All I ask is that before you sign off, you rate me positively. If you are inclined to use the "poor service" or "bad service" options, please ask follow-up questions first and give me a chance. Sometimes the law doesn't have a good solution, but I will try hard to find it if it is available.

I may not have good news for you because now with the filed I-130, you have immigrant intent and that's a big no-no for F-1 and OPT status. Just please remember not to shoot the messenger. Are you in OPT status? Do you have a possibility of H-1B?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I am in OPT status. No I do not yet have the possibility of an H-1B, if I did I would not have asked for advice! The OPT status will end and would not make my situation easier or harder even if I did not have immigrant intent.


By the way, I read one of your replies to a person who wanted to have an H-1B employee deported for switching employers and you gave that person incorrect advice. It is not illegal for an H1-B employee to switch employers without changing their H1-B visa. The new employer simply has to file for a new H1-B visa for the employee pretty much as soon as the employee starts working for the new employer. If a second H1-B application is pending the employee can legally continue to work. This is a not so recent amendment to immigration law which you should be aware of, in case someone else asks you!

Can you provide me with that link, please? And how long ago was that question posted? Perhaps it was around th time the amendment came out. I would have to look. And if you don't confide in me, that's ok. You can always opt me out or ask me to opt out. Just let me know.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Here's the link:



That question was posted 2 days ago. By the way I can't rate you because I have not received or seen a link for doing that.


My question is, what are my current legal options for staying in the country, besides getting an H-1B (which I cannot get from an employer who is laying off people)?


I did not have immigrant intent when I got the F1 visa, so what was I supposed to do? Stop going to school?

You won't be able to rate my service until I actually answer you. That wouldn't be fair to you if you rated without an answer. I just hope that you rate me positively. About that answer two days ago, you are assuming that the person that had the H-1B validly was able to file an H-1B transfer BEFORE he got fired. I did not make such an assumption. The person asked how to report and I explained how to do it. It isn't my (or his) job to determine if the H-1B had a gap in his status. That is ICE's job. Also, keep in mind that there is no longer an "unofficial" 30 day grace period. So even a gap of one day, fired on one day, and filed an H-1B on the next day could be considered a gap which would mean the person would have to leave the U.S. to get status.

You scared me. I know I am not perfect and I make mistakes from time to time (still do and probably always will), but I try my best to make sure I give good information because I take my responsibility very seriously. I know that people's lives in this country may depend on what I say and families could be torn apart or worse.

As far as your options, they aren't that good:

1) Assuming that OPT extension is not an option, you can try to apply for a new F-1 program for a higher degree or different degree. A higher degree would be better because then you can have OPT again. Of course, you run the risk of them saying that you have immigrant intent because of the I-130 filed for you.

2) You can apply for a J-1 visa, but you have the same issue with the immigrant intent.

3) You can apply for a B-2 tourist visa, but not only do you have the issue with immigrant intent, but you would only get 6 months with an additional 6 month extension.

4) You can apply for an H-2B, but as you probably know, those are expensive because of the Labor Certification, you have to be from a country listed in the H-2B category, or show that you would be an asset to the U.S., and of course, you have the same issue of immigrant intent.

5) You can apply for an H-1B job that is cap exempt and those are at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization. Those are not subject to this numerical cap.

And no, you were not supposed to stop going to school when you developed immigrant intent, but that will become an issue when you file for an extension or change to another non-immigrant status.

And then of course, if you marry a U.S. Citizen (for love, not for legal status), you could apply for Residency that way.

I know that the options are not good, but at least you have some. Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to Thank you!
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. and 3 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Following up to emails receive. I have no further questions so far and I have submitted a rating.

Ok. No problem. Thank you so much! Good luck to you!